Long Distance Win

Witham v Ilford 1, Wednesday 16 November 2022.
Essex D2, 6 board match, G80 + 10, Ilford won the toss: White on odd boards
Jef Page, captain.

WITHAM  1½  –  4½  ILFORD
1865        JAMES STEELE   0-1 TOM BARTON 1935
1829  NATHAN BARNES  1-0  RAHUL GHOSE 1929
1582          LYN STIFFELL  0-1  NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1965
1566       SIMON WHITE  0-1  VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN 1801
1561       BARRIE WHITE  0-1  JEF PAGE 1644
1278 MICAEL HARRISON  ½  ADHAR JAISWAL 1556 
1605                             Av grade:                           1805

Full details see the ECF LMS: https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/125086

On an awful windswept, sodden rainy night we traveled to our most distant venue this season. Ilford’s players made it in good time to pull off a valuable away win against a weaker than expected Witham. Newcomers to the Essex League, they’re trying to provide more competitive games for their members. But Ilford were in no mood to be generous.

I rearranged the board order a bit to promote Rahul who has done well this season. It didn’t quite work out as Barnes won pawns and held his K-side together as Ghose strived to put in an attack but when Queens were about to be forcibly traded the game ended. Neville meanwhile benefited. Witham’s Captain Lyn Stiffell’s French Defence got nowhere as he was never able to develop his pieces properly. Quin completely missed the point of my attack as I picked off an undefended Knight and then upgraded that to go a Rook up. Adhar won a pawn but in an opposite colour Bishop ending he couldn’t quite force the win. On top board Steele was reduced to having a Knight languishing on a8 as Tom threw up his King and Queen-side pawns, went a vital pawn up, and then was able to mount the coup-de-gras threatening mate.

Thanks to everyone who made the journey to play. We are currently top on 3/3, but we have the strongest teams in division 2 to play next year.

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Defeat to BBCA in London League

LONDON CHESS LEAGUE   DIVISION 2    2.11.2022 

                                 ILFORD           2-6   BRITISH BANGLA CHESS ASSOCIATION 

1.1965        NEVILLE TWITCHELL 0-1   J RUDOVANOVIC  2288 

2.1929                  RAHUL GHOSE 1-0  S SAIDMURODOV 2142 

3.1801 VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN  0-1  J LANDAU     1960 

4 1792                       TONY KENT 1-0   O OKUSANYA  1916  

5.1644                          JEF PAGE  0-1  T KHAN   1907 

6. e.1650              DANIEL LOWE 0-1  O FINNEGAN 1832 

7. 1575                  TAHA UNDRE 0-1  M ALAHI  1825  

8.                                      default  0- 1 M ISLAM  1812  

Ilford Black on odds. Time control 75 minutes + 15 seconds per move increment

From Jef Page’s notes. A grim night in every way. Dreadful wet weather, train delays, byzantine instructions on how to find the way around Bethnal Green and get into St Margaret’s House (the roads don’t seem to have names on them) and not the best playing conditions. Oh-and on top of that Jef lost the toss, we had a defaulted board and a walloping from BBCA who were very strong.  And those were the good points.   

Being a bit too busy trying round-up lost, bewildered players outside in the road got poor Jef got soaked for his trouble before trying to break out of a cramped position that disintegrated in the frantic endgame. Two very good wins from Rahul Ghoseh on board 2 and Tony Kent on board 4. Board 4 saw a Scicilan Grand Prix attack that black underestimated. Position on white’s move 25 below. RxN! does lead to checkmate (thank you, computer) but white chose the slower Rh4 which wins a bit slower.

Win on Board 4

On board 4, Daniel tried for the quick win but it rebounded on him as Finnegan calmly counter-attacked and picked off a loose piece. Thanks to everyone for making the journey. At least we know the way for next time.

Action on the top 4 boards

Banger Match in Essex

Ilford 1 v Thurrock 1, Monday 24 October 2022.
6 board match, G80 + 10
Jef Page, captain.

              ILFORD I  4½ – 1½ THURROCK I
1.  1930   TOM BARTON     ½    BARRY SHEPPARD 1810
2.  1965 NEVILLE TWITCHELL    ½    IAN WOODWARD  1805
3.  1644  JEF PAGE  1-0  JIM ARBUCKLE        1733
4. 1556  ADHAR JAISWAL   ½   MATHEW WILSON   1530
5. 1575 TAHA UNDRE  1-0  MALCOLM CRANE   1488
6. 1600 MUHAMMED FAHEEM 1-0  RUDI VAN LITSENBORGH 1550
1713                                  Average grade                             1653

Toss won by Ilford, White on odd boards.

On one of the worst nights for quiet and concentration in chess matches with bangers & rockets going off overhead during Diwali (the other is Guy Fawkes night) the last thing you want is a player dropping out at 7pm. So a quick text from Tom brought an answer from Faheem who made his instant debut for Ilford and rapid promotion for the bottom 3 players who were instantly promoted. Muhammed got into trouble, as he dropped pawns facing Van Litsenborgh’s Queen & Rook, but he completely outplayed Rudi in the ending to force a queen promotion. With Taha winning a Knight we soon went 2-nil up but the other games were much closer.

I played a very passive and restrained (for me) 3-N‘s opening but after fiddling around trying o develop my pieces I decided I’d had enough of that, gambled, and attacked. It paid off when I won a N, only to blunder it back minutes later in the time scramble, but when I offered Arbuckle an exchange of Q’s (who declined a draw offer) he made another move and I picked off his Q for nothing. Neville strong opening yielded a N for 2 pawns but as Woodard’s pawns dangerously advanced down the board Nev thought it best to return the bit and a draw was agreed. On top board Tom had the attack out of a Dragon Sicilian opening but couldn’t quite find the winning combination to break through Sheppard’s K-side.  So we race to the top of the table. Let’s hope we can stay there. Thanks to everyone who played.

Essex Division 2 – Good win away to Loughton

ESSEX CHESS LEAGUE DIVISION II 19.10.22

LOUGHTON II ½ – 5 ILFORD I

1792 SIMON MOTH ½ TOM BARTON 1935

1782 MARTIN VAN TOL 0-1 NEVILLE TWITCHELL 1965

1700 KEN GROCE 0-1 VENKATESH SUBRAMANIAN 1801

1523 MYLES BRUNGER 0-1 TONY KENT 1792

1300 F COLLINS 0-1 JEF PAGE 1642

1308 MICHAEL SMITH 0-1 BIEL SCHREUDER 1419

1567.5 Average grade 1754

Time control: 80 minutes plus 10 seconds a move. Toss won by Ilford- White on odd boards.

(Based on Jef Page’s notes) Ilford I’s ECL campaign 2022-23 started with an away match at Loughton- a club that has often proved a nemesis to us in the past. After winning the Essex Rapidplay Plate Championship in the summer we had hopes of keeping our successful run going and we surprisingly swept Loughton aside.

Jef had an easy win out of a Kings Gambit Declined though I made it stupidly hard for myself as Collins struggled in vain to develop his pieces. Neville had a (long overdue) win for us by forcing two connected passed pawns up the board to fork both of Van Tol’s Rooks. Myles Brunger had good chances against Tony but couldn’t gain a point after a mistake. Venkatesh arrived late but made short work of Groce and Smith, a pawn down, couldn’t hold the ending when he allowed his lone Knight to be swapped off and Biel’s King invaded and ate the opposing pawns allowing one of his own to run through and queen. New member Schreuder’s first game for Ilford I and good to start with a win. On top board Simon’s successful Dragon Sicilian proved difficult for Tom to break down and when it got to an equal Kn & pawns ending a draw was agreed. A good win and our overall strength was far too great for Loughton as the grading’s difference shows.

Next match: Redbridge Social Centre,Monday 24 October: Ilford I v Thurrock

Board 1 – level material – draw
Action on Board 2

Jef’s nice attack on board 5.

Essex D3 – Close fought match

Ilford 2 v Wanstead 3, Monday 17 October 2022.
5 board match, G80 + 10
Tom Barton, captain.

This was a tight match won by Wanstead 3-2.

Euan opened up the centre before castling and rapidly ran into trouble which lost his queen. Jiayi reached a level middle game with opposite side castling but when his opponent sent pawns down the board to attack his king Jiayi didn’t get counterplay going on the opposite wing which left him under pressure. So we went two down but then both Dan and Rayyan played nice attacking chess using pressure to create mistakes and win, this levelled the match up at 2-2. So the match result hung on Biel’s game. He’d gone a pawn up with a slightly better position but his opponent gained pawn activity and pressure that proved decisive.

Given the Wanstead team were very experienced and out-graded us heavily this was a good showing.

Thanks to David and Krish on the Wanstead boards 4 and 5 who went through some game analysis with Euan and Jiayi.

Full details of the result are on the ECF LMS here

Essex D3 Opener Win!

Ilford 2 v Southend 2, Monday 3 October 2022.
5 board match, G80 + 10
Tom Barton, captain.

This was the second team’s first game of the 2022-23 season. I lost the toss so over this five board match we had two whites and three blacks which was not a disadvantage as apart from the draw on board two all the games were won by black!

The three juniors in the team all played well. Euan played calmly to claim a pawn out of the opening with a piece development advantage, this turned quickly into a greater advantage as he won his opponent’s queen with a simple tactic and he went on to win. Jiayi played quick development against his opponent’s Sicilian defense but then his co-ordination became a bit loose and the weakening move g3 led eventually to pressure on his rooks and with his opponent’s bishops invading his position he lost an exchange and the game went away from him. So one point each at this stage.

Rayyan had a very complex middle-game position against his opponent’s London opening. In the critical position Rayyan found better moves than his opponent to go the exchange up in the endgame and win.

Adhar’s game on board two went into an extremely closed position with the pawns locked together across the board and not surprisingly ended with a draw as neither side’s king and bishop could make any progress.

So the match now hung on the result of Dan’s game. He played a very tricky open position well and although an exchange down had his bishop pair aiming at his opponent’s king creating more pressure than his opponent’s bishop pair which were doing the same. Dan was well up on the clock and created complications. His final rook move was excellent and struggling for a response his opponent’s flag fell. A win for Dan and a win for the team 3.5 – 1.5

Well played all! Thanks to Southend for travelling to us.

Match result details and league tables are on the ECF LMS. See the match result here: https://ecflms.org.uk/lms/node/125065

Essex Knockout Plate Final – a Trophy!

Thurrock v Ilford – Plate Final 21 September 2022
5 board match, time control G20+10
Jef Page, 22 September

The winning team with Plate and prize clock

Championes, Championes’.. the champagne was sprayed around, we’ve booked the open-topped bus… For winning the event Ilford holds the silver Plate for a year and a new additional chess clock.

The match was played at Thurrock who were due a home venue. I won the toss & Ilford were white on odd boards in round 1. Our agreed starting time was 7.45 and Thurrock’s captain Malcolm Crane generously agreed to wait till 8pm for Venkatesh to arrive.

For the 1st time in over 20 years Ilford appeared in a final: true, just a rapidplay Plate event for 1st round losers, but still a long overdue resurrection of our fortunes and the first time I’ve led a team to victory. We heavily outgraded Thurrock and for once our stronger members played to their standard as Tom, Neville and Rahul each won both games. The match was won in the 1st round as Ilford achieved a rare 5-nil clean sweep towards victory. Ilford went into an early lead in round 1 when Rahul came up with a sweet Bishop move that won him the exchange and I wriggled out of Van LItsenborgh’s tricky French Opening to demolish his qeenside and followed that up by forking his King & Queen.

Round 2 was a bit closer at 3-2. Neville won a nice Rook and pawn endgame but I lost a pawn in the opening and was always playing catch-up. Venkatesh got caught when his King was surrounded by Omoruyi’s Queen, R & Bishop.

We played just 3 matches: losing to Barking A 4-6, just getting past Wanstead B 5½-4½ and beat Thurrock 8-2. Best individual score was: Rahul 5/6; Tom 4½/6, Neville 3½/6, myself 2/4, Venkatesh 1½/2, Asif Ryan 1/2, Daniel Lowe 0/2.

Match score on the ECF LMS here.

On the ECL website there is a report and another photo of our winning team which was presented by the organiser Ian Hunnable, Essex League Controller. See here

Thank you to everyone who played and took part.

Comfortable Baum League Win

North Circular Chess League, Ilford v Enfield 1 – 8 August 2022
2 games with reversed colours. Rapid time control G20+10
Tom Barton (09.08.2022)

On a warm summer’s evening we opened the club up for this Baum League match against Enfield 1. With team sheets exchanged it soon became clear we heavily out graded the opposition and this translated into a 5-1 first round lead. In the second round Ilford went even better by a half point so ran out very comfortable winners by a match score of 10.5 – 1.5.

The match result details can be found on the ECF LMS here.

Essex Summer Knockout Plate

Plate semi-final: Wanstead B v Ilford
2 games of G20+10 with colours reversed between rounds
Tuesday 2 August 2022 Tom Barton

Having lost 6-4 to Barking A in the first round of the ECA Summer knockout we entered the Plate competition. With Jef Page away I captained the team in what was a tight match where we had a grading point advantage on the higher boards but not on the lower boards.

Round 1 saw us take a good lead, 3.5 – 1.5 with a nice win from Rayyan on board 5 under time pressure. Round 2 didn’t go so well as we lost on boards 4 and 5 early on. Neville halved out against the Wanstead draw expert, Paul Barclay, and Rahul won. I was last to finish. I managed to get a rook trapped and gave up a piece for two pawns and had a losing position. I hung on in the time scramble for a draw which gave us a match winning score putting us through to the Plate final where we will meet either Barking B or Thurrock.

Result on the ECF LMS: Wanstead B v Ilford

And the results in the Essex Summer KO are here: ECA Tables

Baum League Thriller

North Circular Chess League, Ilford v Wanstead 3 – 18 July 2022
2 games with reversed colours. Rapid time control G20+10
Tom Barton (19.07.2022)

Both clubs agreed to as many boards as possible for this match as a great opportunity for juniors to gain experience. Wanstead fielded seven juniors and Ilford three in an 11 board contest, the largest team event at Ilford for many years which is something to celebrate, plus one friendly match making 12 boards in all. Given the high 30C heat, cold drinks all round were in order before play commenced.

Round 1 in play – Boards 2 and 10 already complete

Round 1 saw the top three boards halve out, the middle generally going to Ilford, and the Wanstead juniors proving too strong on the bottom three boards so at the halfway mark the match was tied at 5.5 each. After a further drinks break round 2 got underway with everything to play for. I had an early draw aganst Paul Barclay against whom I couldn’t get to complicate the position, this turned out to be the only draw of the second round. The Wanstead juniors were pressing the Ilford adult team hard and once again proved too strong on the bottom boards. Ilford started to reel Wanstead’s lead back in and the match went down to the final game on board 4. Here Adrian had a plus but it was difficult to see how he could make progress, in the event he tried too hard and his position collapsed. So the final result was 12-10 to Wanstead. See the final result on the LMS here.

For the record, the two round friendly on board 12 was between Gurukarthik Gurusamy (Wanstead junior) and Adhar Jaiswal (Ilford).